6/24/14 | by Chris Eger
Sheriff Carl Nace is defending himself against a lawsuit by county auditors seeking personal information about concealed carry holders within his jurisdiction of Perry County, Pennsylvania.
State law holds that all information for a license to carry a firearm is confidential and free from public release.
The county auditors, however, maintain they are exempt from this, and they want the names and addresses of local permit holders to crosscheck and verify permits issued and money paid with the individual to whom the records indicate the permit was issued.
“The Sheriff contends that he is restricted from releasing the info by a provision of the Uniform Firearms Act that prohibits release of the information ‘to the public,” the auditor’s attorney Craig J. Staudenmaier said in a statement.
“The Auditors are not ‘the public.’ We disagree that this provision prohibits him from providing the requested information to the auditors,” Staudenmaier said.
After repeated requests for the records by the auditor met with noncompliance from Nace, they filed a lawsuit to force him to turn his files over, which they maintain will be returned once the audit is complete.
The sheriff is not making any comments due to the pending litigation but, if local support is any indicator, he doesn’t have to.
The community, it would seem, stand firmly behind their elected chief law enforcement officer in his opposition to the auditor. An estimated 200 concerned citizens appeared at the county court house Monday, many taking an opportunity to publicly speak to Perry County commissioners about Nace’s stand.
“It is my understanding that we could end up paying for both lawyers and that is sad,” County Commissioner Paul Rudy said during the outpouring of support. “I have not seen any change of heart with the auditors. I wish they had been here today because I think they would have gotten a better picture of what the people feel and that they are wasting their money, they are wasting the taxpayer’s money.”